Archive for February, 2010

Plant Your Peas and Lettuce Now

Feb 23rd, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

For those of you itching for spring and planting season, did you know you can get an early start right now? Sugar snap peas (the ones you eat pod and all) and lettuce are good to go and prefer the chilly temperatures. I planted peas and my first round of fancy, romaine and iceberg lettuces this weekend.  To keep the crops coming for longer, be sure to leave space for a second or third planting every three weeks until mid-April.

Some of you may not be ready to work the garden beds and put up your trellises for peas. Well, I have an easy solution for you. Planters with a tomato cage stuck in them work great for the little climbers.  I plant the pea seeds in a circle to match the cage and fill in the middle so that the seeds are all about 1 1/2 inches apart. The cages are a great support and when the peas are done, you can pull it out and put in some flowers for the rest of the summer.

Yummy Food for St. Patrick’s Day

Feb 23rd, 2010 Posted in eHow Articles, Good Eats - Recipe | no comment »

Just finished up an article that lays out a St. Patrick’s Day menu for your feasting pleasure. I really do love all of dishes. Now that I’m thinking about them though, I don’t think I can wait for St. Patrick’s Day. Corned beef sandwiches may have to make an appearance on our table next week!

You can read all about it and get the recipes on eHow.

Ben and the Bass

Feb 21st, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Fun Things to Do, Joyful Moments, Music Review | no comment »

Ben had his first live performance with the Laurel Ridge Middle School Jazz Band last night. The event was a high school fundraiser called “Swinging with Spaghetti.” We’re not usually big fans of the spaghetti dinner night, but I’ll have to say that this one was really well done and very well attended.  All of the music was excellent and it was a super festive evening. The kids got lots of grins and applause for playing “The Office” theme song.

Ben is already a stellar guitar player and decided to take on the challenge of learning the electric bass guitar for Jazz Band. I’m very proud at how he powered through the struggles of a new instrument and reading music for the first time. He played great last night and fit right in with the rest of the musicians after just 2 months!

Love the clothes, too. Haven’t seen my boy in a tie since he was 5 at Uncle Chad’s wedding 🙂  Looking and sounding good, kiddo.

Joe’s 5th Grade Concert

Feb 18th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Joyful Moments, Music Review | no comment »

Ahhh, remember fifth grade? Girls are kind of cool and kind of scary.  And then, the music teacher makes you perform cheesy songs, play the recorder and hold hands and dance with a GIRL!!!

Joe’s concert tonight was so cute and so funny.  Joe, of course, added the humor. First, he didn’t even want to go. No surprise. Then, when he got there, he hammed it up. Funny expressions, funny gestures and he even went down on his knees and threw his hands up in the air in relief when the dance was done.  Unforgettable as usual. Love that kid.

New Video from Myron LeRoy

Feb 18th, 2010 Posted in Music Review | no comment »

Oh, boy.  Myron’s got an epic song with this one. He’s tackling Moses and the Plague! Anyways, it’s a fun romp as usual.

Background: Myron LeRoy is Ben’s most excellent guitar instructor and is the featured singer and guitarist. And, in this song, he dragged Randy Sage along on drums.  Randy is Joe’s drum instructor.  Both are a couple of real talents and real good guys.

Give it a look and a listen:

Then Came the Plagues on YouTube

February is Blueberry Pruning Time

Feb 17th, 2010 Posted in eHow Articles, Yard Happenings | no comment »

Time to get out and start pruning some of those deciduous shrubs and bushes. Blueberries were at the top of my list last week. If you aren’t sure how to go about it, take a look at my eHow article,  How to Prune Blueberry Bushes and get those clippers moving.

Great Photos Need Great Composition

Feb 17th, 2010 Posted in eHow Articles, Fun Photos - General | 4 comments »

You know photography has become a passionate hobby when you start fretting over the backgrounds, the angles and overall composition of your photos.  Composition is often what makes the difference between a decent photo and an eye-catching-wow photo.  Luckily, good composition is something that comes naturally to a lot of us if we just take a moment to really size up a photo and think before we click.

Visit my eHow article, How to Take Great Photos – Composition, for a collection of steps for setting up your next shot.

Work is Fun in Biz Town

Feb 5th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Fun Things to Do, Sherwood Schools | 6 comments »

I just spent a full day volunteering at Junior Achievement’s Biz Town in Portland. Our Edy Ridge fifth graders prepped for this day for multiple weeks, teachers attended a 3 hour training and about 30 parent volunteers (I’m guessing) attended a 1 1/2 hour training to get ready for this special day. We had over 15 businesses open this morning with kids in the roles for worker bees, CFO’s, CEO’s and even a Mayor. Each business had the goal of repaying the loan they had acquired for payroll and operating expenses.

It was so detailed. The kids had a day full of tasks and also had breaks in which to manage their own accounts and make purchases.  We had TV interviews of various company representatives broadcast to each business, web advertising, phones being hooked up, meters being read, remodeling consultants making plans in various businesses, an extremely busy cafe, an animal shelter, medical check ups provided by employers, lawyers, insurance claims, retail outlets, etc.

Overwhelming at first? Oh yeah. Did we get the hang of it? Pretty much. A few issues here and there. A few grumpy staff faces that should have had more patience. But, boy, the kids had fun. They were jazzed when they came in and jazzed when they left. They worked together in teams and just had fantastic attitudes all day long.

If your school hasn’t done this…check it out. If you aren’t sure you want to volunteer, just do it. Biz Town is well worth your time.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Review

Feb 3rd, 2010 Posted in Book Review | one comment »

The Lit Ladies Book Club picked a murder mystery for January and I loved it. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was an extremely fun read filled with juicy characters, family drama, corporate corruption and, of course, the mysterious disappearance of Harriet Vanger, a 16-year-old corporate heiress that disappeared 40 years ago. Was she murdered, was it an accident, was it suicide or is she even really dead?

Our flawed heroes in the story are Mikael Blomkvist, a dashing journalist trying to recover from a story that blew up and landed him with a libel conviction, and Lisbeth Salander, a very dysfunctional, hard-edged young woman with a sharp brain and even sharper attitude.  Funded by the patriarch of the Vanger clan, they join forces to solve the mystery of Harriet Vanger and get a whole lot more than they bargained for.  The story is almost entirely set in Sweden, as that is the origin of the author.  Some of the Swedish names and phrases can slow the pace at first, but you get used to it fairly quickly.

Should be a great discussion at Book Club tonight. I’ll be very surprised if The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo failed to hook anyone in the group.  This is the first book in the Millennium trilogy. Brian is reading #3 and has enjoyed them all. Guess I know what I want to read next 🙂

I’ll be sure to also discuss tonight that the author has his own interesting story. Larsson was himself a journalist like the main character and many say these are kind of like fantasy novels for him. Sadly, Larsson died just two months before the first book of the trilogy was released to the public. We’ll never get to dig further into the author’s mind.

And, for a bit of intrigue, you can visit the Steig Larsson website and dig into the controversy surrounding a potential fourth book in the series. It’s also interesting to read about his background which explains the anti-fascism and Nazi elements to the story.

How to Make Angie’s Amazing Wings |

Feb 2nd, 2010 Posted in eHow Articles, Good Eats - Recipe | no comment »

I’ve decided to share my awesome wing and bleu cheese dip recipe just in time for the Super Bowl. Sooo good!  How to Make Angie’s Amazing Wings |